Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
The iTunes Store boasts more than 100,000 movies and TV shows... that Chinese users can’t buy. (Picture: iTunes Store)

If Apple kills iTunes, it won’t be mourned in China

Apple may soon replace the 18-year-old iTunes, but Chinese users won’t miss it

This article originally appeared on ABACUS
It looks like Apple is finally retiring iTunes -- the once revolutionary but now increasingly clunky tool that’s been with users for 18 years. In China, the news drew users to vent about the frustrating experience of using iTunes, with most of them saying the breakup is long overdue.
It comes after reports that Apple will split the software into individual media apps. According to Bloomberg, Apple will replace iTunes with three new Mac apps -- Music, TV and Podcasts. Apple has also scrubbed all content from its iTunes Facebook and Instagram accounts.

A hashtag that translates to “Apple may close down iTunes” has drawn more than 180 million views on Weibo, where many users took the opportunity to complain about their dissatisfaction with using it. Many users said the software has always been confusing and that the backup process is too slow.

How Weibo became China’s most popular blogging platform

“Even during the time I was the craziest about Apple, iTunes was a pain in my heart,” one Weibo user said.
“This hard-to-use software is finally going away?” another user commented.
“I’m tearing up,” yet another user posted. “I’ve suffered iTunes long enough.”
The iTunes Store boasts more than 100,000 movies and TV shows... that Chinese users can’t buy. (Picture: iTunes Store)
But while iTunes’ less-than-satisfying user experience is a common complaint around the world, it’s even less popular in China for another reason: Many of the content services have been blocked.
Movies on Apple’s iTunes Store are not available in China. (Picture: iTunes Store)
iTunes Movies and iBooks Store were both shut down in China in 2016, just six months after they entered the country. Not surprisingly, it was reportedly because China’s media regulator demanded it. Apple Music remains available in China, but reports and social media posts suggest that it doesn’t have enough Chinese songs in its catalog.
In a Weibo poll started by Chinese tech news outlet Huxiu, users are asked if they have used iTunes. Out of 18,000 respondents, more than 11,000 voted for “No, what is iTunes?” Another 5,200 people chose “Yes, but no more than ten times.”
“I’ve been using Apple for three years and have used it fewer than ten times,” one person commented on Weibo, garnering more than 11,000 likes.

Other users said they opened the app fewer than five times, all of them accidental clicks. For at least one person, the app shouldn’t be there at all.

“For me, iTunes is a rogue app that comes with the phone,” the user said.

For more insights into China tech, sign up for our tech newsletters, subscribe to our Inside China Tech podcast, and download the comprehensive 2019 China Internet Report. Also roam China Tech City, an award-winning interactive digital map at our sister site Abacus.